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Mom accused of leaving toddler alone in van is in custody of ICE agents

**EMBARGO: Hartford-New Haven, CT** Gloria Sanchez-Cerritos, a mother accused of leaving a child unattended inside a van, is in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

EAST WINDSOR, Conn. (WFSB) — A mother accused of leaving a child unattended inside a van at Walmart in East Windsor on Monday was in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Police charged 22-year-old Gloria Sanchez-Cerritos, of New Britain, with risk of injury to a child, leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle, and first-degree reckless endangerment.

The arrest of Sanchez-Cerritos comes after a 16-month-old girl was left alone inside the car with the windows up in the parking lot on Prospect Hill Road on Monday. Police said the temperature outside was about 81 degrees when the child was found.

ICE agents said Sanchez-Cerritos is an “illegally present citizen of Mexico.” Sanchez-Cerritos entered the United States legally in 2011, but ICE agents said she “overstayed her lawful visit by more than five years.” Sanchez-Cerritos has lived in Connecticut for the past three years.

On Tuesday, Sanchez-Cerritos, who had no prior criminal arrests, was taken into custody by deportation officers and “remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.”

Her brother, 30-year-old Juan Sanchez-Cerritos, also of New Britain, was arrested in connection with the case. Juan Sanchez-Cerritos, who just got a Ph.D. in math, was visiting from Mexico on his way to a researching job in China.

The Department of Children and Families is involved in the incident. The infant is back at home and both the mother and uncle are not allowed to be with her unsupervised.